A soft launch means you did not thoroughly conduct market research, you are not sure you totally understand the problem you are solving and your solution may not completely solve the need. When someone says soft launch I hear them saying this product is an incremental improvement to a current solutions and is not a breakthrough product. I also hear them saying we will throw this product over the wall, into our market and see if it sticks.Team members describe a soft launch as if it were some safe and effective way to launch new products.
In my last post I discussed the need to quantify the value the buyer experiences to increase your sales. In a typical sale the buyer has three options; the buyer buys, the buyer buys but not from you, or they do nothing. Market leading companies make it their job to understand their buyers’ problems and what they value most. When you clearly understand the market and problems to be solved creating a value proposition that instantly resonates with buyers is easy.
What is the buyers’ cost of doing nothing?
What do your buyers value most?
Let’s say you sell products that prevent people from stealing products on display in retail stores.
Having served this market back in the late 1990’s we asked a lot of questions and what we found back then was:
- If a product is behind the counter because the retailer is concerned with theft, sales decrease 50% to over 75%
- If a product is out ‘LIVE’ on the retail shelf without any mechanical security device or security tag you can expect over 50% theft
- If product is behind a counter the overall customer buying experience is poor (this costs you a sale now, and more concerning with future purchases)
But that was old school…. check out this market leader in helping large retailers increase their sales!
InVue’s value proposition is focused and clear.
Their value proposition demonstrates they know their customers, their customers’ problems, and they have solved those problems completely.
“InVue develops and markets security products that enable retailers to openly display their high theft merchandise with confidence.”
They not only control theft, they help their customers increase sales as they share below.
“Displaying high value accessories next to hot selling smart phones and tablets will increase your accessory sales over 20%.”
This is a great example of a B2B company that took the time to do their market work and understand the buyers and the problems they want solved. When I speak at conferences I often have someone challenge me; “ I understand this knowing your buyers stuff when it comes to B2C products but I don’t see how it applies to B2B” My answer is it is absolutely critical to understand your buyers, the buying process they use and the criteria they must have to make a purchase. This is the case in B2B and B2C. B2B companies who do the market work prior to launch realize greater sales increases and higher profits.
How about your company?
Are you solving buyer problems?
What process does your team use to identify buyer problems?
How is your sales performing to plan this year?
The reason why some companies consistently achieve and surpass their sales and profit objectives is they understand their market, buyers and buying process.